Yahoo! stokes Internet flames with "Burning Love"

Mon Jun 4, 2012 2:51pm EDT
 
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By Courtney Garcia

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Yahoo! stokes the flames of Internet media with a new attempt at bringing a TV-like show to the Web on Monday with the launch of "Burning Love," a comedy spoof of reality show "The Bachelor" that has the backing of Ben Stiller.

Produced with Paramount's Insurge Pictures and Stiller's Red Hour Productions, the series is a succession of 7 to 10-minute episodic shorts that parody the popular reality competition in which women vie for the affection of a single man.

Dating to the 2000s with shows like "Quarterlife," Internet and media companies have tried to bring TV-like experiences to the web but many attempts failed. In fact, the big hits have come to people like Justin Bieber, who became a YouTube sensation then leveraged that success into a mainstream career.

But executives at Yahoo!, which has come under new management in recent weeks, believe the growing use of tablets such as the iPad and media-friendly mobile phones make the Web fertile ground for entertainment that may ultimately lure more advertising dollars.

"We're in the midst of a tipping point to take long-form, primary experiences from TV and get them online, onto tablets and smartphones ... Digital entertainment is here to stay whether we like it or not," Erin McPherson, vice president and head of Video Programming and Originals at Yahoo!, told Reuters.

McPherson calls "Burning Love," "an homage to the classic genre of TV reality shows."

With cameos from Stiller and his wife, actress Christine Taylor, the Web comedy stars Kristen Bell, Michael Ian Black, Adam Scott and features an appearance by Jennifer Aniston in a panda suit.

The mock-series spins the conventions and style of the archetypal dating show into farce. It is the story of a single, seducing man - a fireman by trade - set on a mission to find his perfect lover among 14 non-traditional contestants. There is a 90-year-old, a transvestite, a woman who wears no pants, a closeted lesbian and Aniston's panda.   Continued...

 
Actor Ken Marino is shown in this publicity photo from the web series "Burning Love" released to Reuters June 4, 2012. Yahoo! stokes the flames of Internet media with a new attempt at bringing a TV-like show to the Web on Monday with the launch of "Burning Love," a comedy spoof of reality show "The Bachelor" that has the backing of Ben Stiller. Produced with Paramount's Insurge Pictures and Stiller's Red Hour Productions, the series is a succession of 7 to 10-minute episodic shorts that parody the popular reality competition in which women vie for the affection of a single man. REUTERS/Robyn Van Swank/Handout